|Quoting United787 (Reply 11):|
Just to be clear... ORD already has 3 parallel runways, one of them new and one lengthened.
|Quoting kordcj (Reply 5):|
find it baffling that United and American thinks that the airport needs no expansion. When there are greater than 15% (being very generous here) of flights not operating on time, that indicates a problem. I can see how they can disregard the need for runway (9C-27C) as the other 7 runways should be more than sufficient to cover the airport's needs for the foreseeable future.
In my opinion, it's not necessarily expansion that ORD
is after, but rather the new runways are being built to improve the operational efficiency of the airport. If I'm not mistaken, as some of the other new parallel east-west runways come online, some of the older runways will be closed. The main problem with the current layout is that with the exception of runway 04R-22L, all the runways at ORD
intersect with at least one other runway, which limits the amount of operations per hour. Its for this reason, at least in part, that ATL
, with its all-parallel runway system, overtook ORD
as the busiest airport in the country (eventually the world) because it could handle a higher flow of traffic. Especially in bad weather conditions, a parallel runway layout, such at at ATL
and later perfected by the new DEN
, allows for independent simultaneous instrument approaches, something that is much more difficult at ORD
as it is currently. This is what doomed my former beloved home airport, Denver Stapleton: the runway layout was nothing short of disasterous, because the runways were so close together, simultaneous instrument approach operations were not possible, which significantly reduced the number of takeoffs and landings the airport could handle during times of bad weather. Well, that and a terminal/councourse layout that caused massive traffic jams, but that discussion could be a whole other thread in itself.
Keep in mind that ORD
's currrent runway layout was designed back in the late 1950's/early 1960's when the propeller-driven aircraft of the time were much more vulnerable to crossiwnds, hence the radial layout of multiple runways going in just about every direction. Modern jets are affected less by crosswinds, so having many runways running in every direction were not necessarily required. The eventual layout of almost all parallel runways at ORD
will, most likely, significantly reduce congestion and consequently greatly reduce delays at the airport, particularly in bad weather.
Therefore I think the building of new runways, in the long run, will cost the airlines less, because the airplanes will spend less time on the ground burning fuel waiting their turn to take off and/or holding at an outer fix waiting their turn to fly an instrument approach and land. Seems to me that some investment up front now to finish the project will save much more money in the long run.